James Harper Prowse
James Harper Prowse Jr.
|Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta|
February 5, 1945 – August 17, 1948
August 17, 1948 – June 18, 1959
Serving with Clayton Adams, Lou Heard, Elmer Roper, Ernest Manning, Harold Tanner, Edgar Gerhart, J. Donovan Ross and Abe Miller
|Preceded by||Norman James, John Page and William J. Williams|
|Succeeded by||District abolished|
|Leader of the Alberta Liberal Party|
June 26, 1947 – 1958
|Preceded by||Wesley Stambaugh|
|Succeeded by||Grant MacEwan|
February 24, 1966 – September 27, 1976
November 3, 1913|
Taber, Alberta, Canada
|Died||September 27, 1976(aged 62)|
|Occupation||politician, lawyer and service man|
|Service/branch||Royal Canadian Army|
|Years of service||1940–1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
James Harper Prowse Jr. (November 3, 1913 – September 27, 1976), was a politician, barrister and solicitor from Alberta, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from 1945 to 1959, first as an independent and then as a Liberal. He led the Alberta Liberal Party from 1948 to 1958 and served as a senator from 1966 until his death in 1976.
World War II
Prowse enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1940. He served five years overseas during the Second World War, mostly in the Italian Campaign, and rose to the rank of captain. He was wounded twice during combat. His army career ended after he was elected to the Alberta Legislature in the 1945 service vote.
Prowse had been introduced to politics at a young age when his father, James Harper Prowse Sr., ran for a seat to the Alberta Legislature in the 1926 general election in the electoral district of Taber.
Prowse first ran for a seat in the legislature in the 1945 serviceman vote that was the last stage of the general election held the previous year. He ran as a candidate in the army vote and won the polls with 17% of the popular vote over 21 other candidates on February 5, 1945. The vote was non-partisan so Prowse sat as an independent in the legislature.
After winning the election and returning to Edmonton, Prowse became a journalist for the Edmonton Bulletin. He crossed the floor to the Liberals after announcing his intention to run for the leadership of the party on April 10, 1947. He said of his decision, "The political situation has reached a point where there is no longer any advantage to be gained by remaining neutral."
Prowse was elected leader of the party on the first ballot at the Liberals' annual convention on June 26, 1947. The convention was attended by 476 delegates. He defeated two other candidates, Jonathan Wheatly and Joseph Tremblay.
The serviceman seats were abolished after the end of the Second World War, and Prowse decided to contest a seat in the Edmonton electoral district in the 1948 Alberta election. He took the fourth of five seats in the multi-member district. The Liberal party won one other seat besides his own and took 17% of the popular vote.
Prowse stepped down as leader of the Liberal party in 1958 and retired from the legislature at dissolution in 1959. He then ran for mayor of Edmonton in the 1959 municipal election; he lost to Elmer Roper.
Prowse first ran for a seat to the House of Commons of Canada in the 1962 federal election in the electoral district of Edmonton West as a candidate for the Liberal Party of Canada. He finished a close second to incumbent Marcel Lambert and ahead of former Member of Parliament Orvis Kennedy.
- "Liberal Leader". Vol 54. No. 231. Winnipeg Free Press. June 26, 1947. p. 1.
- "Taber Official Results 1926 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- "Two Calgarians Win Elections For Servicemen". Calgary Herald. February 6, 1945. p. 2.
- "Alberta Liberal Leader". Vol XL No. 164. The Lethbridge Herald. June 26, 1947. p. 4.
- "Prowse is Candidate for Liberal Leader". Vol XL No. 99. The Lethbridge Herald. April 10, 1947. p. 1.
- "Return Safe Stable Govt. Prowse Aim". Vol XL No. 164. The Lethbridge Herald. June 26, 1947. p. 1.
- "Edmonton Official Results 1948 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- "Edmonton Official Results 1952 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- "Edmonton Official Results 1955 Alberta general election". Alberta Heritage Community Foundation. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- "Election Results 1945 - 2007". City of Edmonton. p. 33. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
- "Edmonton West Election Results". Parliament of Canada. June 18, 1962. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- "Edmonton West Election Results". Parliament of Canada. April 8, 1963. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
- James Harper Prowse – Parliament of Canada biography